Tags: MEREDITH WHITNEY, Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, state debt, warnings
MDubs has issued a new state budget and debt report and Arizona, Nevada, Connecticut, Wisconsin? Might want to run. (Also, re last year’s prediction on muni bond defaults- she was just ball-parking, no one should’ve taken those numbers at face value.)
Whitney tells Fortune she never meant to make more than a general forecast. “I never intended on framing the scale of defaults as a precise estimate, but I continue to believe that degree of municipal defaults will be borne out over the cycle. I meant to point out that the state debt problem is a massive headwind for the U.S. economy, second in importance only to housing.”
Whitney’s latest report is even more thorough than last year’s analysis that started the uproar. It covers 25 of the largest states, adding ten new ones to the list, including Arizona, Nevada, Connecticut, and Wisconsin. The problem starts with spending. Since 2003, state governments have raised annual outlays from $1.5 trillion to almost $2.2 trillion, or $700 billion, yet tax receipts have risen only $400 billion or $300 billion less, to $1.4 trillion. In fact, spending kept surging all during the recession, while income from sales, income and corporate taxes went totally flat in 2007.
M-Dubs doesn’t put everyone on notice, however. Whereas Connecticut receives one whip of the cat-o-nine-nails for every dollar over budget, Indiana, which gets a pat on the head and a scratch behind the ears, is dubbed a “model citizen.”
Meredith Whitney State Finances Are Worst Than Estimated [Fortune via Katie Benner]